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Utah moves forward with controversial Medicaid proposal

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Utah moves forward with controversial Medicaid proposal

Utah would partially expand its Medicaid program to cover almost 70,000 additional people under a bill that has passed the state legislature.

The bill would require the state to submit a request for the Trump administration to impose work requirements on certain Medicaid recipients. But Utah would only expand coverage to people earning up to 100 percent of the federal poverty level and would still expect the Trump administration to pay its share of the costs.

That’s never been done before, and the proposal is controversial.

Under ObamaCare, the federal government will pay for 90 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion for any state that chooses to accept it, but only if a state covers people earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level.

Three states have received permission to impose work requirements, but the administration has not given any state permission to partially expand Medicaid and still receive full federal funding. 

Earlier this week, federal officials effectively punted on approval of a waiver from Arkansas that was similar to what Utah’s will be. The administration approved the state’s work requirements, but did not make a decision on a partial expansion. 

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